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What Are the Two Greatest Systemic Changes in Human History?

by | Jan 1, 2020 | Formation, Reflections, Systemic change | 1 comment

A quick “Good News” quiz!

What are the two greatest systemic changes in human history?  (Here’s an important clue – They are interrelated!)

The greatest systemic change

The greatest systemic change in the history of the world was described long ago … “The word became flesh and dwelt among us”

But momentous as this change is, it is a change that is still poorly understood. Did the Word become flesh, suffer and die to change God’s mind or to change our minds? After all, God has first loved us! Even when we were furthest away.

The more I thought about it the more I realized Jesus came to change our minds, not God’s. He came to show us what it was like to know and think like God.

God is not like other gods who had to be placated. God was a God who invites us, and indeed longs for us, to share in life and being with God!

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness and found human in appearance he humbled himself becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.* Epehesians 2:5 ff

Translation into 21st century English… It is not all about the Word but about “Good News” for us. Teaching us to realize we are called to share in the divine circle of love.

In this, the theologian Michael Himes finds the most remarkable statement about the Incarnation: that Christ chose “to be one with us rather than remaining in the form of God, calling it “the most extraordinary compliment ever paid to being human.” 

The Second greatest systemic change

The second is “like unto the first” to borrow words from Jesus. The second greatest change is when we understand the first change and change our lives.

Repent, which means change your way of thinking and have this mind in you that was in Chris Jesus.

In some senses, this is the most difficult systemic change. It is in our power to accept God’s Good News inviting us to share in the life of God. But it takes a systemic change from thinking what’s in it for me… to what’s in it with God and all our brothers and sisters that is at the deepest part of my longings.

The Word became flesh to show us what God’s Good News for us and way of thinking it looks like when lived humanly. Jesus is the living model of world-changing systemic change.

This second systemic change only occurs when we change our way of thinking to God’s way of thinking. It is the challenge for us to realize that we are not the center of the universe. God is the center … and want us to be at the center along with our brothers and sisters.

This change shifts our way of thinking from “did I get it right’ to living God’s life.” We are waking up to good news being aware of what it means to live, move and have our being in God.”

May we wake up to the Good News in 2020

Good News Questions

  • Do I think of the incarnation as changing God’s mind or our mind, my mind?
  • Where am I on the continuum of changing my mind to living Christ’s mind?

1 Comment

  1. georgia hedrick

    “The Word”….words are powerful, yes, but ‘the Word’ is the most powerful of all. And then you read history and how humanity has fought the ‘Word’ and that fact is downright scary. The fact of the fight makes me realize that there is a Devil. It won’t end until everything ends. I wish more was written, but I guess, simplicity is best.

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